Home > Windows > Windows 8 BSOD: Now With Emoticons! Windows 8 BSOD: Now With Emoticons! David Adams 2011-09-14 Windows 43 Comments Chip Hazard posted a pic of a Windows 8 error screen, which in keeping with the overall trend in Windows8, is actually a lot more aesthetically pleasing than the old Blue Screen of Death. Plus: frowny face! About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 43 Comments 2011-09-14 2:16 pm Soulbender I fail to see the point. Why does a screen that you should never, ever have to see need to be aesthetically pleasing? 2011-09-14 2:18 pm UltraZelda64 Very good question; I guess Microsoft is anticipating lots of bugs to make their way into the final release, and that many people will see it? 2011-09-14 2:21 pm Thom Holwerda Very good question; I guess Microsoft is anticipating lots of bugs to make their way into the final release, and that many people will see it? No, this is the kind of style from WP7. WP7 is riddled with touches like this, giving it a very… Well, almost BeOS-like charm and personality. Works wonders. 2011-09-14 2:33 pm Soulbender Oh yeah. Wonders. Hey, it crashed again but since there’s a dumbass smiley face it’s all ok. 2011-09-14 2:47 pm Thom Holwerda Oh yeah. Wonders. Hey, it crashed again but since there’s a dumbass smiley face it’s all ok. I’ve never seen WP7 crash. 2011-09-14 2:54 pm AndrewZ My impression this was supposed to be humorous, so try not to over analyze. I would also point out that the original Mac crash screen was a sad face. Edited 2011-09-14 14:54 UTC 2011-09-14 2:56 pm Soulbender So then clearly the “improvements” are utterly pointless. 2011-09-14 3:04 pm Thom Holwerda So then clearly the “improvements” are utterly pointless. So, because a smiley is added to an error screen, all improvements are pointless? Great logic there. 2011-09-14 3:13 pm Soulbender No, because a smiley is added and useful troubleshooting information removed. 2011-09-15 12:55 am Morgan Yeah, because that cryptic “stop_error” message with hex values was so helpful to the average end user. I fail to see a problem here. 2011-09-15 3:32 pm Soulbender Good point, that wasn’t exactly a great error message to begin with. I’m not so sure that removing almost all information and replacing it with a smiley is the improvement that was needed though. 2011-09-14 7:41 pm f0dder I don’t really see it as an improvement considering that debug information is gone. So now we *have* to resort to loading crash dumps to see what went wrong? Yay for phone-troubleshooting problems… 2011-09-15 8:07 am Icaria I have. It’s not common but it still happens. And I’d like to think this is a bit of self-deprecating humour on the part of MS. Sadly, others seem to be taking this too seriously. Even if this were evidence of MS being oblivious, it’d still be hilarious. 2011-09-19 4:15 am Bill Shooter of Bul Well, I actually loved crashing NetPostitive, the BeOS web browser, because it would give these cool little haiku’s as error messages. They were so zen, it was tough to be upset. Think of it like customer service. When you call your bank because you’re suddenly missing 50,000 euros from an account , would you prefer the person on the other line to be an inconsiderate asshole who only sort of speaks your language, or would you like a modicum of understanding and have them speak your language fluently, carefully explaining the situation in a soothing manner. Of course, banks don’t want their users to lose 50, 000 euros on a daily basis, but they know that crime exists and all they can do is try to keep the business of the good customers. Microsoft making the bluescreen less scary is like that, only they’re treating everyone well. I wanted to do the same in my software, but management does’n’t agree with me. I’m actually going to show this windows 8 feature to help argue my case. At a former job I was officially reprimanded for using a Saturday night live reference in a hidden feature. I never really expected anyone to find or care about it, but they apparently did not understand the implied humor. So, I’ve never done it since. I think humor is really only allowed when you’re a big software company, or a new smaller one with the humor obvious from the get go. 2011-09-14 3:03 pm renox Maybe but in this case, they should put error information here! 2011-09-14 9:50 pm sukru It happens when you have faulty hardware (especially RAM), broken drivers (like my current issue with the latest Radeon HD Catalyst ones), or a corrupted filesystem. It does not necessarily need to be the OS’s fault. 2011-09-14 11:46 pm Alfman sukru, “It does not necessarily need to be the OS’s fault.” The way operating systems are currently designed, one driver can bring down the whole system. However in an ideal operating system, a faulty driver could only affect dependent applications and could be restarted (and upgraded) independently of the rest of the system. 2011-09-15 12:39 am sukru Yes, but it becomes impractical after a while. For example, my current issue with latest Catalyst driver is that it causes the graphics card to overflow the HyperTransport bus. There is no way Windows kernel can prevent this, even realize it could happen, without micro managing each and every aspect of PCI-Express drivers. Edited 2011-09-15 00:40 UTC 2011-09-15 1:25 am Alfman sukru, “For example, my current issue with latest Catalyst driver is that it causes the graphics card to overflow the HyperTransport bus.” I don’t know much about amd’s hypertransport bus. Doesn’t seem much like the PCI I’m familiar with. You’re right, an ideal OS may be impossible to build on non-ideal hardware. For instance, it may be possible for a driver to escape it’s OS level containment (deliberately or accidentally) via hardware which indirectly permits full R/W access to system ram. If I recall, firewire is one example of a piece of hardware which exposes full system ram, not only to the drivers, but astonishingly also to all attached devices. This is part of the spec which treats the firewire bus as an extension of the system bus. Working exploits published in 2006. Since then newer hardware gives drivers more control over the firewire bus, but I have no idea if it’s effective or secure by default. http://enkhbayar.net/?p=107&cpage=1 It used to be suggested to fill firewire ports with cement. 2011-09-15 2:33 am sukru It’s actually a long story. I don’t know much about the technical side of my issue either. After staring to have random reboots, I reinstalled Windows (among other things I tried, like changing RAM chips, etc), and it persisted. Then I realized BIOS was warning me about the bus overflow after some of the reboots. Searching for it, some online forums mention that Catalyst drivers can do this with HD 4850, and I guess, with specific chipsets. People recommended tweaking chipset voltage and bus speed configurations. I went with the safer path – downgraded the drivers. Edited 2011-09-15 02:37 UTC 2011-09-15 10:26 am Gooberslot Wait, so AMD can’t get their own cpus and gpus to work together correctly? That’s just sad. 2011-09-14 2:17 pm UltraZelda64 I see they’re dumbing it down and adding stupid little smileys, Apple-style. No no no, those users shouldn’t know anything about the error at hand! Leave ’em in the dark! Come on, it’s a f***ing error. And being the BSOD, a potentially major one at that. Its goal shouldn’t be to look pretty and comfort the user; it should be to inform the user and at least give the slightest hint as to WTF is the problem. And more importantly, tell them that something is f***ing wrong. Edited 2011-09-14 14:20 UTC 2011-09-14 3:15 pm viton Are you blind? The error is displayed in the bottom line. HAL INITIALIZATION FAILED 2011-09-15 2:12 am UltraZelda64 Either I’m blind (my eyesight is pretty bad), or more likely–that’s just a shitty, small, blurry image and the actual error is in really fine print. I think it’s the second case. Hey, I tried to click to get a bigger image, but it just went to another picture. Now I do see it, but come on–that’s some pretty small print. I can barely even see the line, and I now know it’s there. Seems like in prettifying the BSOD, they’re TAKING FOCUS AWAY from, you know, the problem. The problem being, that there is a problem/error. I still see no reason for trying to make–of all things–the BSOD look more appealing. Make the BSOD not have to come up at all, then I’ll be impressed. Edited 2011-09-15 02:15 UTC 2011-09-15 4:35 am UltraZelda64 Oh, and by the way… am I the only one who gets a kick out of the fact that it says that “your PC” ran into a problem and needs to restart? Instead, they’re trying to make it look like it’s the computer at fault, when in reality it’s Windows. Looks like Microsoft really doesn’t want to take the blame for anything at all that happens with their OS–first their EULA, now their neutered “friendly” version of the blue screen of death. Edited 2011-09-15 04:44 UTC 2011-09-16 10:56 pm BluenoseJake Windows is generally installed on the PC, so in this context, Your PC is correct, as it could be hardware, it could be drivers. The OS is part of the PC, just a very configurable part. A PC without an OS is a door stop. 2011-09-21 11:51 pm zima Well you can always withhold such scathing critique until after seeing some screengrab clearly, in the future… Also, a big sad face, and a large “Your PC ran into a problem that it couldn’t handle, and now it needs to restart” text, very much doesn’t seem “like in prettifying the BSOD, they’re TAKING FOCUS AWAY from, you know, the problem” (with the line describing a specific error being of interest only to techies / troubleshooting; seemingly large enough, at least as large as an average text on the desktop) And for quite a few years now BSODs often happen when the computer / hardware really is at fault. PS. I wonder when Apple will sue (old Sad Mac error …or is turning the (also more symbolic here!) face 90 degrees to the left enough to be in the clear?) 2011-09-14 3:20 pm kenji Yes, but many Windows users ignore or are ‘frightened’ by error messages. Even if there was useful information to be had, tech support would probably just tell you to reboot and if that doesn’t fix it, reinstall the OS. 2011-09-14 7:42 pm f0dder Spot on the sugar. Spend more time ensuring the users don’t ever get to the screen instead 2011-09-14 3:50 pm turrini BSOD now turns into “Big Smile Of Death”. 2011-09-14 6:09 pm jbauer BSOD now turns into “Big Smile Of Death”. Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back. 2011-09-14 6:10 pm Alfman Sadly, I got a much less pretty error message trying to run it under KVM. http://www.osnews.com/thread?489485 2011-09-15 12:17 am Hotmanta Alfman, I suggest you use Vbox, like you, I use KVM and prefer it, but it won’t work for some installs for me like Lion. Follow this article http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/kvm-virtualbox.html to use both KVM and Vbox side by side, but of course not at the same time. Also, I am installing Windows 8 in Vbox at the moment, the old shift-F10 key combo still brings up the command window, this trick has been around as far back as I can remember, helps with troubleshooting during the install. 2011-09-15 1:43 am Alfman Thank you for the suggestion with virtualbox. I’m giving it a shot right now, I am already further than I got with kvm. 2011-09-15 3:21 am Hotmanta No problem, my Vbox Win 8 64 bit install never progresses beyond the expanding windows files (99%) … status. I goto a command prompt where I can run diskpart, dir e:\ and find there is no good reason for this hang. I am downloading the 32 bit iso now to try it instead. Let me know how you go. 2011-09-15 4:56 am Alfman All right. installation froze first time round, but went though second time without a hitch. Luckily it’s not a 45 minute install either. I cannot get any audio. The networking didn’t work at first. But after the system locked up and crashed, I rebooted and the networking worked fine. Edit: the win8 guest locks up, not the vbox. Some programs have been locking up, but I can still alt-tab away, other times the entire os locks up and I have to reset. The vbox guest helper tools will not install. Alot of apps load up a big colorful yet unusably empty screen, but alt-tabbing shows a thumbnail with populated widgets. Anyways, technical issues aside, my first impression: Yuck yuck yuck….WTF is this?!? How do I switch windows? I see that I click on the left side of the screen and drag to the middle using the mouse, but how do I simply see all my windows and click on one?? Changing them one at a time sucks, at the very least the cursor should display multiple choices when I mouse over to the left. The start menu is missing – the replacement dashboard is totally inefficient, where the hell are my programs?? Information density has decreased by a factor of 20, everything is using far more screen real estate than it needs (this is painful on a 23″ monitor). Is there any better way to scroll on the dashboard than using the scrollbar at the bottom of the screen? Switching to the “desktop” is painfully difficult, but at least I know the secret “win+d” hotkey. Most of the old hot keys don’t work, how do I close all the programs I’ve opened? Alt-f4 is busted. (This is a genuine question. If you know how to close these programs, please fill me in.) How do I stack two windows side by side?? I watched the video where they dragged the window to one side and it would bind to the edges, but for the life of me I can’t get that to work using my mouse. Again, if anyone knows how to view two windows at a time, please fill me in. I’m trying to keep open mind and I know that I need more time to learn it. But it honestly looks like this tablet interface is really going to get in the way on the desktop. I can see that the designers favored huge empty colorful spaces over clutter, which may appeal to some, but it is not a productive interface in the least. It’s a lot more work getting from point A to point B. Edited 2011-09-15 05:15 UTC 2011-09-15 5:19 am Alfman It just occurred to me, I don’t know how to turn off the win8 computer the correct way. As the start menu is botched, I can’t find the shutdown button…. Well, hard shutdown it is then… 2011-09-15 5:50 am Hotmanta Thanks for the feedback, I tried the 32 bit Win 8 in Vbox and similar outcome to the 64 bit, hanging at “expanding windows files” install 97% with two install attempts. I burnt a DVD and handed it to my son, he got it installed on his MAC book no problem, snow leopard boot camp drivers went in like a charm, he is upgrading them to Lion release to get his touchpad going. Sound, external blue toooth apple mouseand wireles all working. My son being a young tech savvy person, he was all over the interface, I couldn’t keep up with what he was doing, suffice to say, he is loving it! 2011-09-15 7:21 am Alfman Hotmanta, Maybe a bare metal install would be more reliable, but from what I’m seeing it would not be worth the effort. The two separate and incompatible operating modes is extremely clunky. I hope this is just a byproduct of the preview rather than the intended design. As is, it feels like I am using a tablet, where one application is called “Desktop” which is a RDP/VNC session to my “real” windows box. However to make things worse, my “Desktop” lacks a start menu and applications need to be started by a clunky transition back to my tablet interface. This describes almost perfectly the integration between the two interfaces. Edited 2011-09-15 07:29 UTC 2011-09-14 6:58 pm Zolookas This error happens if you try to boot Windows Developer Preview iso image in vmware. Edited 2011-09-14 18:59 UTC 2011-09-15 6:53 am antonone Why does it say: your PC ran into a problem, and not: your Windows system ran into a problem? 2011-09-15 3:01 pm Soulbender Hum, didnt notice that. Rather clever way of shifting the blame. 2011-09-15 8:25 am marcp Can’t find words to describe my disagreement with these kind of interfaces.